1 . Vestment of legislative power. All
legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a
congress of the United States, which shall consist of a
senate and house of representatives.
2 . House of representatives -
qualifications of electors. (1) The house of representatives
shall be composed of members chosen every second year, by the
people of the several states; and the electors in each state
shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the
most numerous branch of the state legislature.
(2) Qualifications of representative. No person shall be a
representative who shall not have attained to the age of
twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the
United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an
inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.
(3) Apportionment of representatives and taxes.
[Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among
the several states which may be included within this union,
according to their respective numbers, which shall be
determined by adding to the whole number of free persons,
including those bound to service for a term of years, and
excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other
persons.] The actual enumeration shall be made within three
years after the first meeting of the congress of the United
States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in
such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of
representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty
thousand, but each state shall have at least one
representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the
state of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three;
Massachusetts, eight; Rhode Island and Providence
Plantations, one; Connecticut, five; New York, six; New
Jersey, four; Pennsylvania, eight; Delaware, one; Maryland,
six; Virginia, ten; North Carolina, five; South Carolina,
five; and Georgia, three.
(4) Vacancies in representation - how filled. When
vacancies happen in the representation from any state, the
executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to
fill such vacancies.
(5) Speaker - officers - impeachment. The house of
representatives shall choose their speaker and other
officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.
3 . Two senators from each state - how
chosen. (1) [The senate of the United States shall be
composed of two senators from each state, chosen by the
legislature thereof, for six years, and each senator shall
have one vote.]
(2) Classification of senators - vacancies. Immediately
after they shall be assembled, in consequence of the first
election, they shall be divided, as equally as may be, into
three classes. The seats of the senators of the first class
shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year; of the
second class, at the expiration of the fourth year; and of
the third class, at the expiration of the sixth year; so that
one-third may be chosen every second year; [and if vacancies
happen by resignation or otherwise during the recess of the
legislature of any state, the executive thereof may make
temporary appointments until the next meeting of the
legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.]
(3) Qualification of senators. No person shall be a
senator who shall not have attained the age of thirty years,
and been nine years a citizen of the United States, and who
shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for
which he shall be chosen.
(4) President of senate. The vice-president of the United
States shall be president of the senate; but shall have no
vote unless they be equally divided.
(5) Officers of senate, how chosen. The senate shall
choose their other officers, and also a president pro
tempore, in the absence of the vice-president, or when he
shall exercise the office of president of the United States.
(6) Senate to try impeachments. The senate shall have the
sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that
purpose they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the
president of the United States is tried, the chief justice
shall preside; and no person shall be convicted without the
concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.
(7) Extent of judgment in impeachment. Judgment, in cases
of impeachment, shall not extend further than to removal from
office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of
honor, trust or profit under the United States; but the party
convicted shall, nevertheless, be liable and subject to
indictment, trial, judgment, and punishment, according to
4 . Election of senators and
representatives. (1) The times, places and manner of holding
elections for senators and representatives shall be
prescribed in each state, by the legislature thereof, but the
congress may at any time, by law, make or alter such
regulations, except as to the places of choosing senators.
(2) Congress shall assemble annually. The congress shall
assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall
be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law
appoint a different day.
5 . Membership - quorum. (1) Each house
shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and
qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each
shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller
number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to
compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and
under such penalties as each house may provide.
(2) Rules - punishment - expulsion. Each house may
determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members
for disorderly behavior, and, with a concurrence of
two-thirds, expel a member.
(3) Keep journal - yeas and nays. Each house shall keep a
journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the
same, excepting such parts as may, in their judgment, require
secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either
house, on any question, shall, at the desire of one-fifth of
those present, be entered on the journal.
(4) Adjournment. Neither house, during the session of
congress, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn
for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in
which the two houses shall be sitting.
6 . Compensation - privileges. (1) The
senators and representatives shall receive a compensation for
their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the
treasury of the United States. They shall, in all cases,
except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, be
privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session
of their respective houses, and in going to and returning
from the same, and for any speech or debate in either house
they shall not be questioned in any other place.
(2) Members precluded from holding office. No senator or
representative shall, during the time for which he was
elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority
of the United States, which shall have been created, or the
emoluments whereof shall have been increased, during such
time; and no person holding any office under the United
States shall be a member of either house during his
continuance in office.
7 . Revenue bills. (1) All bills for
raising revenue shall originate in the house of
representatives; but the senate may propose or concur with
amendments, as on other bills.
(2) Bills presented to president - veto - return. Every
bill which shall have passed the house of representatives and
the senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to
the president of the United States; if he approve, he shall
sign it; but if not, he shall return it, with his objections,
to that house in which it shall have originated, who shall
enter the objections, at large, on their journal, and proceed
to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds
of that house shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent,
together with the objections, to the other house, by which it
shall likewise be reconsidered, and, if approved by
two-thirds of that house, it shall become a law. But in all
such cases the votes of both houses shall be determined by
yeas and nays; and the names of persons voting for and
against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each
house respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the
president within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall
have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like
manner as if he had signed it, unless the congress, by their
adjournment, prevent its return; in which case it shall not
be a law.
(3) Orders - resolutions - presented to president. Every
order, resolution or vote, to which the concurrence of the
senate and house of representatives may be necessary (except
on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to the
president of the United States; and, before the same shall
take effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved
by him shall be repassed by two-thirds of the senate and
house of representatives, according to the rules and
limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.
8 . Powers of congress. The congress
shall have power:
(1) To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises;
to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and
general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts
and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.
(2) To borrow money on the credit of the United States.
(3) To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among
the several states, and with the Indian tribes.
(4) To establish an uniform rule of naturalization, and
uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the
(5) To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of
foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures.
(6) To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the
securities and current coin of the United States.
(7) To establish post offices and post roads.
(8) To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by
securing, for limited times, to authors and inventors, the
exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.
(9) To constitute tribunals, inferior to the supreme
(10) To define and punish piracies and felonies committed
on the high seas and offenses against the law of nations.
(11) To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal,
and make rules concerning captures on land and water.
(12) To raise and support armies; but no appropriation of
money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years.
(13) To provide and maintain a navy.
(14) To make rules for the government and regulation of
the land and naval forces.
(15) To provide for calling forth the militia to execute
the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel
(16) To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining
the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be
employed in the service of the United States, reserving to
the states respectively the appointment of the officers, and
the authority of training the militia according to the
discipline prescribed by congress.
(17) To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases
whatsoever over such district (not exceeding ten miles
square) as may by cession of particular states, and the
acceptance of congress, become the seat of the government of
the United States, and to exercise like authority over all
places purchased, by the consent of the legislature of the
state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts,
magazines, arsenals, dockyards and other needful buildings;
(18) To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper
for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all
other powers vested by this constitution in the government of
the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.
9 . Slave trade. (1) The migration or
importation of such persons as any of the states now existing
shall think proper to admit shall not be prohibited by the
congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and
eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation,
not exceeding ten dollars for each person.
(2) Habeas corpus. The privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in cases of
rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.
(3) Attainder - ex post facto laws. No bill of attainder
or ex post facto law shall be passed.
(4) Capitation tax. No capitation or other direct tax
shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or
enumeration hereinbefore directed to be taken.
(5) Export duties - preference to ports. No tax or duty
shall be laid on articles exported from any state. No
preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or
revenue to the ports of one state over those of another; nor
shall vessels bound to or from one state be obliged to enter,
clear, or pay duties in another.
(6) Appropriations - statement and account. No money shall
be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of
appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and
account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money
shall be published from time to time.
(7) Nobility - presents from foreign powers. No title of
nobility shall be granted by the United States, and no person
holding any office of profit or trust under them shall,
without the consent of congress, accept any present,
emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any
king, prince, or foreign state.
10 . Powers denied individual states.
(1) No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance or
confederation; grant letters of marque or reprisal; coin
money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and
silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of
attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation
of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.
(2) Powers denied individual states except by consent of
congress. No state shall, without the consent of congress,
lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what
may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection
laws; and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by
any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the
treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be
subject to the revision and control of the congress. No state
shall, without the consent of congress, lay any duty of
tonnage, keep troops or ships of war in time of peace, enter
into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a
foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or
in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.